- President Donald Trump fielded questions from reporters on Sunday following an article by The New York Times that delved into his tax returns and detailed his financial woes.
- “It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake,” Trump said.
- Asked by reporters to be transparent about how much he paid in taxes, the president replied: “It’s under audit, they have been under audit for a long time.”
- The Times reported that Trump shelled out only $US750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017, but spent $US70,000 on hair styling during “The Apprentice.”
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President Donald Trump on Sunday evening dismissed a damning report by The New York Times on his tax returns as “fake news.”
“It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake,” Trump said. “Actually, I paid tax.”
The bombshell article revealed that the president paid only $US750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017.For 10 of the last 15 years, he paid no federal income taxes at all, according to the report.
The Times also discovered that Trump claimed to have spent a whopping $US70,000 to have his hair styled for “The Apprentice,” and benefited from a massive tax refund of $US72.9 million in 2010 that is the subject of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. At least $US100 million is on the line in the ongoing audit, the article said.
The president has reported losses exceeding $US315 million at his golf courses since 2000 and another $US55.5 million at his Washington, DC hotel since its opening in 2016, per the Times.
Trump, however, accused the IRS of mistreating him during his Sunday press conference.
“The IRS does not treat me well, they treat me like the Tea Party, like they treated the Tea Party,” he said. “You have people in the IRS that treat me very, very badly.”
When pressed by reporters for a ballpark number of how much tax he has paid, Trump said that he can’t share that information yet.
“You’ll see that as soon as my tax returns â€” it’s under audit, they have been under audit for a long time,” he said.
“And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you,” he added. “But that’s just fake news.”
As the Times notes, the president’s repeated claim that he can’t release his tax returns while they’re under audit has been denied by the Charles Rettig, the current IRS commissioner. Trump nominated Rettig for the position in 2018.
Trump’s attorney Alan Garten issued a statement on Sunday night, describing the Times report as “riddled with gross inaccuracies,”according to John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News.
Garten questioned the “timing of this story,” which was published two days ahead of the first presidential debate, calling it “just part of Times’ ongoing smear campaign in the run up to the election.”